Weary Giants welcome back Gillaspie, place Nunez on disabled list
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 28: Conor Gillaspie was activated and back in the lineup Friday night after missing 32 games with back spasms (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants staggered in from their cross country night flight at 4:45 a.m., and the players got as much break as reasonably allowable Friday night prior to their series opener against the New York Mets at AT&T Park.
Batting practice was canceled, and players did not have to report to the ballpark until 5:15 p.m. Even with those allowances, key regulars were not in the lineup. Buster Posey was the most notable absence, even though he played first base in Thursday night’s 12-11 loss to Atlanta. Right fielder Hunter Pence was also not among the starting nine.
The Giants did have one fresh body to call on — Conor Gillaspie, who started at third base after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento, where he was 8 for 27 (.296) with three doubles in eight games. Gillaspie had missed 32 games with back spasms.
Gillaspie replaced Eduardo Nunez, who was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring issue. Nunez had missed three straight games and according to manager Bruce Bochy still wasn’t ready to play, so the Giants elected to just put him on the D.L. He’ll be eligible to return when the Giants start their next road trip June 30 in Pittsburgh.
The Giants designated right-handed reliever Bryan Morris for assignment before the game and recalled lefty Steven Okert from Triple-A Sacramento. Bochy said the club wanted another left-hander in the bullpen in addition to Josh Osich.
Morris, 30, gave up five earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning Thursday, and while he initially had some success against right-handed hitters when the Giants first purchased his contract on April 30, lefties were hitting .433 against him (13 for 30) and all hitters were hitting .429 against him with runners in scoring position. Morris had replaced Neil Ramirez, another right-handed reliever who didn’t pan out.
Okert made the club out of spring training but had a 6.23 ERA in 19 appearances before they sent him down. He has pitched better with River Cats, posting a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances with four saves.